A few days ago the Habs announced the signing of Tomas Plekanec to a 6 year $30M dollar deal, with an annual cap hit of $5M. I have to say, in a lot of ways i'm relieved. The amount of UFA's we've let walk away for nothing in recent history is criminal. If there is one difference i'm seeing between big Bob Gainey and Gauthier, it's that Gauthier is not afraid to pull the trigger. So i'll list you a few reasons why I like this signing. And why i think it's ridiculous that so many fans are upset with it.
- Plekky is OUR player. We drafted him, watched him develop, and saw him turn into an unbelievable two way player. This guys is our top penalty killer, not to mention our top scorer, whose totals would have been much higher had Cammalleri and Kostitsyn not missed a combined total of 40 games. When other teams draft players that turn into great 70+ point centers, we Habs fans drool at their scouting talent and player development, and are quick to criticize our management and coaching. Well here you go, a player we developed into a ferociously talented player, and we have him for the next six years, while he's in his prime. Enjoy.
-While the term of the contract is questionable to some extent, monetarily, we got Plekky at a bargain. On the free agent market, especially considering Marleau re-upped in SJ, and he was the best center left out there, he would have undoubtebly received a Cammalleri-esque $6M dollar deal. Plekky took a home town discount in a big way. He loves Montreal, and we should love that about him.
- We're getting a guy who we know very well, and we know he has serious chemistry with Mike Cammalleri, they should be quite a good duo for years to come. And if we can get two big COMPETENT wingers to go with the duo's of Plek-Cammy, Gomez-Gio, we have a pretty serious offense. Too bad Byfuglien got snatched, we should have pushed harder on that one. Maybe Pouliot and Kostitsyn can get the job done...let's get a qualifying offer out to Pouliot already, whats the hold up..?
- Last but not least, the ONLY thing I am confused about with this signing is the term, and here's why. We just traded our playoff hero and sureshot goaltender Jaroslav Halak essentially for Lars Eller, who is apparently a lock for 2nd line center of the future. I don't see why we went out and got a good, young, big center if we were going to commit to Gomez and Plek for the next 5+ years. I figured Plek would get a 3 year deal, give Eller some time to develop into a strong NHL player, and then plug him into the position at 24 years old. Then again, you look at teams like Pittsburgh and Philly who have amazing depth down the middle and have offensive guys like Giroux and Staal in 3rd line center positions. This could be an interesting advancement for the Habs...3 good offensive centers. I guess i'm just used to the Habs barely having ONE good center that it's hard to imagine 3.
DRAFT TONIGHT!!!! enjoy.